Jul 292014


Drivers actively shopping around for the best insurance are quids in as average car insurance premiums are now £406. This summer saw first monthly fall in premiums since February 2014, and British motorists should continue to benefit from declining car insurance premiums.

Analysis of 42.5 million car insurance quotes run on Britain’s number one comparison site between January 2011 and June 2014 reveals that the average cost of car insurance fell last month, to £406 – down from £411 in May. This reduction of £5 (or 1.2 per cent) is the first drop in monthly car insurance prices since February. When comparing the cost of cover now to the same time last year premiums are currently £13 cheaper or 3.1 per cent lower.

This means that those actively looking for car insurance at the moment, whether buying cover for the first time or shopping around to renew a policy, should be able to make a considerable saving compared to the price they paid for their last policy without compromising on quality of cover. For those renewing a policy this is especially important – auto renewing won’t secure the best deal, so actively scouring the market to find the most competitive deal is crucial. Finding the best deal on car insurance is quick and easy to do, and drivers can secure a saving of up to £255 using MoneySuperMarket.

Kevin Pratt, insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “With news today that the Transport Committee is to urge the Government to do more to reduce insurance company claims costs, a further lowering of car cover premiums should be on the way. Insurance claims fraud has inflated car insurance premium prices for all drivers and anything that helps tackle this scourge is good news for honest motorists.

In the last year there has been considerable car insurance premium price fluctuation, with sharp decreases in July last year followed by increases at the end of 2013. However, the biggest change was the steep fall in pricing that occurred between December 2013 and January 2014, where prices fell from £423 to £384 – a nine per cent, or £39, saving.

Kevin Pratt continued: “Despite some small price increases earlier this year, the overall trend of deflation persists as competition among insurers continues. Sticking with an existing insurer is unlikely to secure the best deal. Even though a renewal quote might be cheaper than the price paid last year, drivers should still be able to save even more by switching to a different insurer, so shopping around is key.”

Jul 292014


Mitsubishi, arguably the least known Japanese brand in the UK, is celebrating 40 years of selling its vehicles. These are cars and 4 x 4s that have turned out to be incredibly reliable. Indeed Warranty Direct celebrated its fifteenth birthday by announcing that the Mitsubishi Lancer had been the most reliable car on sale in that period.

Although the Lancer in its ordinary model incarnation was quite dull, the rally specification Evolutions were incredibly exciting. Meanwhile the Shogun off roader got on with being the world’s workhorse. In terms of motor-sport, the strength of Mitsubishis 4×4 heritage was demonstrated by a record breaking 12th victory in the 2007 Dakar rally – the seventh successive victory for the Japanese manufacturer.

The number one selling Mitsubishi vehicle in the UK in recent years has been the L200 pick-up. The L200 drove forward the success of Mitsubishi in the pick-up segment in the UK, remaining the retail market leader for over 10 years. The i-MiEV was, and is, an important vehicle for Mitsubishi and made a statement back in 2009 to the global car industry as the very first mass-produced, zero emission full electric vehicle ever. Mitsubishi continually strengthen and refresh our product line-up with the introduction of new and innovative products such as the ASX crossover vehicle launched in 2010, the compact Mirage and the all-new Outlander both launched in 2013 and the PHEV version of this Outlander will be Mitsubishi Motors’ first EV-based, Plug-in Hybrid, drawing on our extensive electronic know-how and 4-Wheel-Drive expertise.

Jul 292014

JapanFranceJapanese and French brands produce Europe’s most reliable cars, according to new research by Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index.

Warranty Direct has put together its own league table of which countries develop the most dependable motors. The vehicles analysed were an average of five years old with mileages of around 50,000.

Japanese brands dominated the top of the table with marques including Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan producing some of the most reliable models on the market.

French carmakers – Citroën, Peugeot and Renault – come second in the reliability rankings with South Korea completing the top three – Hyundai and Kia amongst the country’s more dependable exports.

Performing about as well as the national football team, the UK’s car brands sit bottom of the international rankings, thanks to low reliability scores from both Jaguar and Land Rover.

Japanese brands are most susceptible to axle and suspension problems, responsible for an average 25% of faults. French and South Korean vehicles however are more likely to develop electrical faults, at 29% and 22% of cases respectively.


Country Rank Warranty Direct Average Reliability Index Most Common Faults (Average % of faults)
Japan 1 80 Axle & Suspension (25%)
France 2 113 Electrical (29%)
South Korea 3 123 Electrical (22%)
USA 4 156 Axle & Suspension (23%)
Sweden 5 158 Electrical (26%)
Germany 6 168 Electrical (24%)
Italy 7 170.5 Axle & Suspension (29%)
United Kingdom 8 209 Axle & Suspension (26%)


It’s not all bad for the UK – despite its home brands scoring low for reliability, Japanese manufacturers Honda and Nissan both have successful models built in Britain. The Nissan Qashqai is produced in Sunderland, while the Honda Civic rolls out of Swindon. MINI also scored well for reliability and, despite being owned by the BMW Group, its cars are manufactured in Oxford.

Jul 282014

The Citroën Berlingo Multispace and Suzuki SX4 are reliability royalty according to the latest statistics from automotive warranty specialist, Warranty Direct.

The company analysed data from more than 50,000 live policies to compile a chart of the best-performing MPV and Crossover models.

Warranty Direct’s unique Reliability Index (www.reliabilityindex.com) takes into account factors such as how frequently a car breaks down, typical repair costs, how long it takes to fix and average age and mileage. The lower a car’s Reliability Index, the more reliable it is.

According to the figures, the best-performing MPVs trump their Crossover cousins and the reliability Queen of the MPV sector is the Citroën Berlingo Multispace (1997-2008), with fewer than two in 10 models experiencing a fault in any given 12-month period.

Citroën has three entries in the MPV reliability chart as the big-selling Xsara Picasso ranks third and the latest Berlingo Multispace eighth.

Ford also has a trio of entries in the MPV top 10. The latest Ford C-MAX takes the runner-up spot and its predecessor, the original Ford Focus C-MAX, is ranked ninth. Tenth place goes to the practical Ford S-MAX.



Only vehicles available in new car showrooms as recently as 2007 were included in Warranty Direct’s analysis and Japanese brands dominate the top of the Crossover chart. Suzuki took top spot with the SX4 crowned the most reliable high-riding, two-wheel drive model. With the lowest breakdown rate and average repair cost in its class, the Suzuki SX4 finished comfortably ahead of the original Nissan Qashqai.

The closely-related Kia Sportage (2005-2010) and Hyundai Tucson crossovers fought it out for third place, with the Hyundai winning the battle of the South Korean brands to claim the bronze medal position.



Motorists torn between the practical nature of a family MPV and the rugged appeal of a Crossover model should take note – the top-performing people carriers in the chart logged an average Reliability Index of 73.9, compared to 111 for their taller-riding rivals.

This trend was also reflected in other areas of the study – average repair costs for models in the MPV list averaged £309.33, compared to £349.40 for the best of their Crossover counterparts.

When it comes to individual faults, MPVs are most likely to suffer from electrical gremlins, accounting for an average of 29.6% of faults, while Crossovers are most commonly afflicted by axle and suspension issues – responsible for 28.3% of faults.

David Gerrans, managing director of Warranty Direct, said: “Reliability is a crucial part of any car-buying decision, especially for busy families with already strained household budgets.

“Both MPVs and Crossover models are aimed squarely at family motorists and this analysis of our comprehensive database will make essential reading for anyone considering a family model.”

More information can be found at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.com website.

Warranty Direct (www.warrantydirect.co.uk) is the UK’s leading direct-to-consumer insurer for car, van and bike mechanical and electrical failures, with automotive cover starting from as little as £15 a month.

Jul 012014

Mileage on Dashboard

Vehicle history experts are warning that used car buyers saw an increase in the number of vehicles on the road with a mileage discrepancy, potentially signalling a worrying trend of more dodgy sellers ‘clocking’ cars to earn extra money.

The practice of clocking a car – adjusting the mileage reading to make it worth more – has been around for a number of years, and was in fact made easier with the introduction of digital odometers which removed the traditional tell-tale signs, as well as a surge in the number of so-called ‘mileage correction firms’ popping up that would alter a vehicle’s mileage no questions asked.

However in recent years, HPI had seen a drop in the number of mileage discrepancies uncovered by consumer checks, which was a positive sign that consumer vigilance might be winning the fight against the clockers – hopes which have now been dashed with these latest statistics. In fact, based the SMMT’s used car sales figures for 2013, HPI estimates there could be as many as 486,000* vehicles with a false mileage on the road in the UK.

“But it’s not just an issue of money with clocked cars, there is also a safety concern. Any vehicle that has done a lot more miles than the owner realises could have components that have been excessively worn, even if it looks okay to the naked eye. Plus these cars are likely to have missed out on their scheduled servicing, meaning a mechanic missing vital signs of wear and tear.” Shane Teskey, Senior Consumer Services Manager for www.hpicheck.com, comments, “These are really shocking statistics and represent a worrying trend. Dodgy sellers will take advantage of any angle they can when offloading a car and clocking is one of the easiest ways they can make a fatter profit. In fact, research we conducted with CAP last year found that popular models such the VW Golf can double in value if they have 60,000 miles wound down.

In addition to confirming whether a vehicle is stolen, has been written off or there is finance outstanding, the HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 160 million mileage readings – making it the most comprehensive protection against buying a clocked vehicle available. In addition, the HPI Check offers a Guarantee of up to £30,000** in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate or incomplete.

Teskey concludes, “While the rise in mileage discrepancies we’ve seen is a worry, consumers can help stop the clockers by simply being more aware and conducting the appropriate checks before purchasing a used vehicle. This is one of the oldest cons in the book, simply because it is so easy to do and is so profitable, but by the same token it is easy for consumer to be vigilant and conduct a history check. If they do so we can stop dodgy sellers making a fast profit duping buyers.”